Our new Cathedral Quarter Trust Strategic Development Plan (2019-2022) has been developed with the input of key local stakeholders and reflects current plans and ambitions for the Cathedral Quarter and the wider city. It responds to, and is informed by, broader plans and ambitions for Belfast and, indeed Northern Ireland, including the draft Programme for Government, The Belfast Agenda, the Local Development Plan, the Belfast Region City Deal. Of particular significance for the Trust is ‘A City Imagining’ -Belfast City Council Cultural Strategy 2020–2030, an ambitious vision for the cultural future of the city.

The Plan must also negotiate the seismic shifts and major developments that are coming to the Quarter in the next few years. The planned opening of Ulster University’s new campus will see the arrival of 15,000 students and staff in the area. This immensely exciting development undoubtedly affords many opportunities for the artistic, cultural and business life of the Quarter but will also throw up numerous challenges and changes for the area. Along with the impending Tribeca Belfast development these changes include a significantly increased level of student and general residential accommodation in the area and a corresponding growth in local population.

The Plan (2019-2022) articulates a refreshed Mission and Vision and a set of updated Strategic Aims for CQT. These reflect the primary objectives and priorities of the Trust itself as well as the anticipated changing needs, challenges, opportunities and context of CQT and the Quarter over the next three years. The new Plan will build upon the achievements of the past whilst planning for the future, still remaining true to the original ethos of the Cathedral Quarter Trust.

The landscape in which CQT operates has evolved over the last few years with the establishment of the Destination CQ Business Improvement District in 2016. Working in complementary partnership, both organisations will continue to proactively promote, improve and advocate for the Cathedral Quarter.

This new Plan represents a dynamic step change in the work of the Cathedral Quarter Trust. The wealth of experience we have amassed over the last number of years; our focus on the potential of culture for regeneration and place-making; our strong network of connections and partners and, above all, our passion for the Cathedral Quarter and for Belfast, will all be actively harnessed to ensure that CQ retains its unparalleled place as the historic, cultural and creative heart of Belfast.

Susan Picken
Director, Cathedral Quarter Trust